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Australian Alps Walking Track (exposure.co)
81 points by pgreenwood 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

Glad to see even down there they use modern low-tech ski touring bindings. Never understood why people would take big heavy ones (apart from price, but basic Dynafit low tech ones that guys have are actually among the best and widely used in Europe).

Have been on Kosciuszko but it was cca May, reminded me of some lower mountain ranges back home in central Europe. Met a guy finishing his 2 week hike up there, in fierce winds and clouds, very nice encounter.

It looked like they get their share of snow up there, but these pictures bring much more - never thought you can actually die in avalanche in Australia! Couldn't find any victims by quick googling so hopefully noone yet.

Good to remind me to start packing for the weekend snow camping in similar conditions, forecasts say up to 60cm of fresh snow so better be careful.

I use the similar AT bindings in Australia for all types of skiing. Pattern base skis work very well in Australian conditions too.

There is occasional avalanche incidents in Australia and sadly there were a couple of deaths on Mt Bogong a few years ago. Since then there has been a lot more awareness of the danger here.

I thought AT bindings were primarily for downhill skiing, but with the option to unlock the heel for climbing. But my ski experience is cross country using NNN and NNN BC bindings, and the ones in the picture look like old school 3 pin bindings.

Edit: Viewing on desktop, it's clear these are not 3 pin bindings.

For anyone in the same boat with me - these are Austr-AL-ian Alps.

I didn't even know they existed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Alps

They are quintessentially Australian. Barren, dry, low (Alps is a very generous description), spread out.

A few years ago very hot dry and windy conditions created by north westerly desert air precipitated major bush fires ripping through the area, killing a few people. Fire fighting in these area is very hard, so they were essentially unstoppable.

They were stopped though - by a snow dump from an Antarctic blizzard coming in from the south.

Surprisingly we actually have a fair bit of snow coverage, though the quality is ... variable. Our largest 'mountain' (~2200m) would barely qualify for the name in other countries

The only reason I clicked on this article was to check it wasn't a typo!

I guess the pictures with the Kangaroos in them are clear giveaways. :-)

Wow I knew there was a bit of snow in Australia but I didn't expect that! Definitely on my list to visit one day.

Calling them "Alps" is a stretch though, an upward stretch.

I grew up nearby and we never called them that, either the Snowies or the High Country (depending on which state you were from/talking about)

Nowadays the snow is very intermittent. We get a good sign every 5 or so years, used to be almost every year.

As a Swiss, I'd say that the Australians are grading their mountains on a bit of a curve there.

But other than altitude, this seems to be pretty serious wilderness.

Don't worry, I'm Australian and I had to look at the wikipedia page to find out what they were talking about. We normally call the area the Victorian High Country, a far more accurate description.

Not something I would expect to be an Australian landscape: https://markoates.exposure.co/australian-alps-walking-track/...

People forget Australia's the size of the continental US, with basically the same sort of climate and ecosystem variance as you'd see between Maine and Florida.

The parent links to a snowy mountain ridge. The tallest mountain in Australia is 7,300 feet (2,200 m), which is lower than foothills of the Rocky Mountains for a thousand-mile stretch. Snowy mountain vistas really are much rarer in Australia than the US, despite the similar land area.

I'd also guess that, due to the extreme arid interior, Australia has less climate and ecological variation overall than the continental US, but I don't know how to quantify that to check.

If you're going "variation per square mile", the Outback is gonna throw things way off. Travel from Darwin to Hobart - especially in the winter - and you'll get quite a bit of difference in climate, wildlife, views etc.

The Adirondacks in the US get plenty of snow, incidentally, only being in the 4000s of feet. Height isn't the only parameter. I learned to ski at the "Big D" at Mt. Hotham. :-D

Hobart as in Tazmania, more than 2,000 miles away from Darwin? I'm willing to bet I can pick a 2k-mile straight line through the continental US that has more variation, but we would need a way to quantify it.

Interestingly, there are flush toilets and septic systems installed along the entire length of the walking track.

No, some huts have pit toilets but there is absolutely no septic system out there apart from when they were at ski towns (Hotham, Falls Creek, Thredbo).

Source? I doubt they're flush toilets; many national parks in Australia have composting toilets though (I haven't walked these particular areas for a long time). The remoteness and freezing conditions mean plumbing is just too prone to failure.

There are quite comfortable warm-seated Western flush toilets roughly every 10 to 15 meters along the entire trail. These are powered by wind generators, solar panels, and Australian poop-eating mountain gnomes stationed approximately every 1500 meters or so. As you say, it has been some time since you have walked the trail.

I am half Swiss, half Australian and am always amused that we call what are glorified hills, “Alps”.

That’s[1] not an Alp, that’s[2] an Alp... [3]

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kosciuszko

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiger

[3] https://youtu.be/WWl8EbNN8NM

Yeah, my parents took me up Mount Kosciuszko as a kid in a stroller. It's a little bump on a plateau.

Australia has more mountain-y mountains, of course, but nothing like Switzerland.

My favorites are the Hazards, down in Tasmania. They (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ceejayoz/44492848854/) and the surrounding Freycinet National Park are absolutely stunning.

Abuot names: Mount Kosciuszko is named after the tomb of Tadeusz Kosciuszko (of the US Revolutionary War) since the explorer who named it was Polish.

Always fun to insist on pronouncing it koz-jius-ko instead of the vernacular kos-si-oh-sko

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